Spring not only ushers in a welcome relief from the cold temperatures, but a slew of winter clean-up projects, begging the question, “Are you ready to host all of those summer barbecues that are just around the corner?” And the bigger question, “Is your house ready?”
Whether it’s a broken bird bath, a loose stone on a walkway, or a broken patio chair, there are some things you need to take care of before the warm weather and, more importantly, before your guests arrive.
The best way to prepare for these upcoming household fixes is to assemble a first-aid repair kit for your house. Keeping some of the most common tools together makes it easier and more efficient. Below is a list of items that are invaluable for common household repairs:
• Simple tools — Why is it that you can never find a hammer, screwdriver, utility knife, tape measure and pencil when you need one? Keep duplicates of these tools in your first aid repair kit, and you won’t have to run around your house or shop looking for them. Also, consider stocking a couple of tongue depressors or craft sticks. These are great for spreading glue and can be used to hold small nails instead of hammering your thumbs.
• Glue — Glue that is 100 percent waterproof is perfect for fixing anything from a broken chair leg to a broken flower pot. You can even use strong glue to fix a loose stone on a walkway. If you’ve never used polyurethane glue before, be careful because it will expand as it cures — you will only need a very small amount for an indestructible bond.
• Sandpaper and a two-part, epoxy-based wood filler — For outdoor wood repair needs, this is really the way to go. All exterior door and window trim work should be checked every spring because gaps and cracks not only reduce your home’s efficiency, but can also provide an entry location for unwanted insects and rodents. Most of these repairs can easily be taken care of and will prevent damage to the integrity of the wood.
• Tape — Gorilla Tape is the toughest duct tape that you’ll ever meet. It has a strong fabric backing and three times the adhesive of other duct tapes and will even stick to impossible surfaces like brick and stucco. It also is a quick fix for a torn grill cover or split garden hose.
• Cordless drill and variety of high quality screws — Due to expansion and contraction during the winter, screws are likely to loosen. Tighten up exposed screws on things like your deck, wood railings, etc., before they become a safety hazard.
• Touch-up paint and foam applicators — Avoid having to search the garage for a can of paint by putting a small amount of paint in a disposable airtight container and adding it to your kit. As you make your outdoor repairs you will have the paint on hand for a quick fix. Foam applicators, which you can get inexpensively from any craft and hobby store, are great for quick touch-ups, and are disposable.
With your first-aid repair kit assembled, you are ready to tackle all of your winter repair projects.